Police in Turkey have arrested 62 people across eight provinces as they continue to investigate an alleged exit scam potentially affecting 391,000 THODEX crypto exchange users.
April 22, 2021 | AtoZ Markets – Turkish police have detained more than 60 persons involved in the possible exit scam of the local crypto exchange THODEX, Reuters reported with reference to state-owned Anadolu news agency reported on Friday.
It is noted that the prosecutor’s office issued arrest warrants for 78 people, 62 of whom have already been detained. While most of the arrests took place in Istanbul, the operation covered 8 provinces.
Istanbul law enforcement officials said THODEX founder and CEO Faruk Fatih Ozer flew to Tirana, the capital of Albania, on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.
Whilst confirming that he had indeed left Turkey for Albania, according to AP, Ozer has denied all allegations and maintains he left for legitimate business-related reasons, ostensibly to meet foreign investors.
Ozer has also attempted to counter fears of an exit scam by claiming that Thodex is the target of a “smear campaign,” contending that trading has been shut down due to an alleged cyberattack.
Moreover, according to preliminary information, the Turkish Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) has already blocked the accounts of the exchange.
Recall that the Turkish cryptocurrency exchange THODEX was suspected of an exit scam after announcing a six-hour-long maintenance break on April 20.
Later on, the exchange’s Twitter page reported that the platform has stopped all operations due to the received “partnership proposal”. However, the site was later shut down.
At the time of this writing, the thodex.com site already produces a page with a report on the successful installation of the nginx web server.
Some users who visited the company’s office reported that the project team now works from home. Whether the move is related to the growing incidence of coronavirus in Turkey remains unknown. Another part of the users accused the management of the exchange of incompetence due to the closure of access without prior notice.
Lawyer Ouz Evren Kilich, who filed a lawsuit against the crypto exchange, said that the site’s behavior was more like an exit scam.
“[It] could very well be a scam,” he said.
The exchange itself claims that it can take up to five working days to resume work. As AtoZ Markets discovered, the founder of THODEX deleted all his social media accounts after flying to Albania.
According to Kylych’s calculations, the total amount of funds blocked on the accounts of the exchange is estimated at two to ten billion dollars.
“Could this be called the Turkish version of Mt.Gox?” Kilic wrote on his Twitter page.
The THODEX exit scam is suspected a week after Turkey imposed restrictions on the crypto market.
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